This easy Spanish rice recipe is a quick and easy side dish recipe that goes great with all your Mexican favorites as well as with chicken, beef, and pork.
Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes are an enormous part of the culture down here in Texas. We enjoy our other traditional southern staples, but the flavors of Mexico have a special place in our hearts. Texans like me routinely make all kinds of delicious Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes, and we always serve them with even more Mexican sides. One of the most popular sides to make here in Texas, and one of my all-time favorites, is Spanish rice. It’s absolutely delicious, and no Tex-Mex plate is complete without it.
Easy Spanish Rice
Spanish rice is a staple side dish for a reason. It’s delicious, but it’s also so versatile. It’s perfectly at home with any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish, but it’s also great as a base to simply add meat to and create a complete meal. The delicious flavors of garlic, sales, chili, and onions and the flavor and heat of jalapenos combine to create a zesty side dish that is absolutely overflowing with flavor. I make it all the time as a dinner side, and I frequently bring it to potlucks, as well.
A Delicious Side Dish
This is the perfect side dish. You can serve it alongside any protein source you like, even fish, and it’s always fantastic. Add beef, pork, or chicken to the rice, and you have a complete meal. Of course, you’ll also want it to pair with your tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and other Mexican favorites. Pair it as a side dish with avocados, sour cream, or cheese. It’s one of the best side dishes you’ll ever make because you can make it for almost any meal or occasion!
This recipe is as versatile as it is delicious. You can play with it to suit your exact needs, and you’ll always come out with something absolutely delicious. There are lots of ways to mix things up with this one, which is one reason I love to make it so much.
I love making this with long grain white rice, but you can try any rice you like for different textures and slightly different flavors. Brown rice works well with this recipe, as do shorter grain rice varieties. Just remember to thoroughly rinse your white rice varieties to cut down on the starch. Some of them have far more than regular white rice.
Make it Mild
If you don’t like a lot of heat, simply leave out the jalapenos./
To make this rice a complete meal, try adding meat to it. Some of my favorites are:
- Shredded baked chicken
- Shredded rotisserie chicken
- Diced grilled chicken
- Shredded beef
- Ground beef
- Shredded pork
- Leftover meat of any kind
- Top with your favorite fish
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about this easy Spanish rice, then look no further. The following FAQ answers all the most common questions regarding Spanish rice.
Is there a difference between Mexican rice and Spanish rice?
They are slightly different. Spanish rice is a little heartier and firmer, while Mexican rice is softer and almost melts in your mouth. In addition, Spanish rice gets its color from saffron while in Mexican rice recipes, the rice gets its color from ground cumin. Although these dishes are different, most people tend to use the terms interchangeably.
What’s in Spanish rice?
Spanish rice commonly has onions, garlic, and tomatoes in it and is made with white rice.
Can you use an Instant Pot to make Spanish rice?
You absolutely can! Set the Instant Pot to sauté the ingredients as directed in the first part of the recipe, then add the remaining ingredients and set your Instant Pot to the rice setting.
What is the best rice for Spanish rice?
As long as you rinse it thoroughly, almost any rice will work. However, the rice that most chefs recommend is basmati rice.
How to Store and Reheat Easy Spanish Rice
This rice will keep well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5 – 6 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the rice in an air-tight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
To reheat the rice, simply microwave it until it’s heated through.
Easy Spanish Rice Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this dish, and you’ll find them all easily at your local grocery store.
- Olive oil
- Jalapenos, stem and seeds removed
- Diced onions
- Cloves garlic, minced
- White rice, uncooked
- Vegetable broth
- Chunky salsa
- Chili powder
How to Make Easy Spanish Rice
Making this rice is a very straightforward affair. If you’ve never made it before, don’t worry. You’ll have no issues if you follow these simple steps.
Step 1: Sauté the Vegetables and Rice
In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and jalapenos and sauté until tender. Then, add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Next, add the rice and sprinkle it with chili powder. Cook the rice until it starts to brown, stirring frequently.
Step 2: Add the Wet Ingredients and Cook
Pour the vegetable broth and salsa into the pan and stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and fluffy. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving and salt to taste. Enjoy!
Try This Delicious, Easy Spanish Rice Recipe Today
This easy Spanish rice is so simple to make and so full of flavor, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a try. It’s perfect with classic Mexican main courses, but it also makes a great main course itself if you add some protein to it. However you choose to serve it, one thing’s for certain: it’s always a hit. Give this one a try, and I know you’ll love it.
More Easy Side Dish Recipes
Homemade Guacamole – The best guacamole recipe, EVER! This recipe uses fresh ingredients, is super easy to make, and is loaded with so much flavor. It’ll become a must have side when you any kind of Mexican food.
Green Chili Corn Casserole – This casserole is made with corn, cheese, chilies, garlic, and eggs and is absolutely delicious with fresh corn tortillas for an added crunch.
7 Layer Dip – A perfect dish to make for any kind of occasion, layered with refried beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, and black olives. Yum!
This Mexican Tater Tot Casserole from Great Grub Delicious Treats is loaded with ground beef, beans, cheese, and crispy baked tater tots. Perfect for a side dish to your families favorite Mexican dish, or a main meal in itself.
Easy Spanish Rice Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 diced jalapenos, stem and seeds removed
- ½ cup diced onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups white rice, uncooked
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1½ cups chunky salsa
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Using a large skillet or large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add diced onions and jalapenos. Saute until tender then add minced garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Next, add rice to the pan and sprinkle with chili powder. Cook until rice starts to brown, stirring frequently.
- Pour vegetable broth and salsa into the pan and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy.
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size to pin to your favorite Pinterest board.